From RH Jones, January 26, 2013
Dear Director Hanning:
As you, and some officials from the Ohio State Teachers Retirement System
(STRS), were photographed smiling with Governor Kasich at the signing way of
parts of our then lawful 3-percent non-compounding Cost of Living Adjustment
(COLA), it seems to me that now is the time for you and our STRS to hold the
Ohio GOP-controlled governor and Senate accountable for restoring some of our
pension by doing away with requiring Ohio’s retired teachers having to pay
Ohio’s income tax. With the signing away of parts of our COLA, some retired
teachers were left not smiling at all.
In the Ohio income tax, many retired teachers pay less than $500.00 per
year. This relief from the income tax would be a little help in restoring
retired teacher confidence in the system working for us, rather than against us.
This income tax relief is one of the goals of ORTA and the time is right to
suggest to our Ohio government: This should be done.
Originally, the Ohio income tax was meant to support education. This tax,
like the sales tax, has been claimed to pay for other Ohio government
obligations. Relieving retired teachers from paying the income tax would fulfill
part of the inner significance in the original Ohio Revised Code (ORC) that
created the income tax in the first place to: pay for Ohio’s legal public
schools. Teacher retirement is part of that package.
The news media today is reporting on Governor Kasich mentioning,
internationally in Davos, Switzerland, that Ohio is healthy once again and even
has a one billion dollar rainy day fund. It certainly has been raining on
retired teachers lately and snow will start in July when we retired teachers are
hit with no COLA at all for the fiscal year.
As a Life Member and a SummitCRTA Legislative Committee Member, I am asking
that you, Director Hanning, and the ORTA Board, and Legislative Chair, Jon
Rockhold, take immediate action to put this on the table with the Ohio Governor
Kasich, and the 2 Legislative Branches of Ohio. There is no good reason that we
retired teachers should have to pay Ohio income taxes when our simple COLA has
Robert H. Jones